There is an old saying that you should never put the cart before the horse. In other words, keep your priorities in order so you can get somewhere. It seems to me that the issues of the Payson Event Center and the YMCA are both "carts" without horses in view.
It was my understanding that the primary purpose of "farming out" the event center to an outside developer was to get the rodeo arena covered. Nowhere in the information from the town council do I see the provision to get the cover on the rodeo arena.
Sure, a convention center and hotel and restaurant are nice to have if they don't dilute the occupancy rates of the existing hotels and motels. What is really needed at this time is that rodeo arena cover! The town council seems to have forgotten about this "need" and instead is focusing on the "wants."
A covered rodeo arena would lead to more concerts like the Mark Chesnutt concert, which in turn, brings revenue to our town. A cover would eliminate problems with the weather. The mayor says he doesn't have enough votes on the council to force the issue. It looks like this cart is way out in front when it concerns the Event Center.
Also, if the Town of Payson owns the Event Center, why aren't Gila County and other users outside the town paying a fee for the use of the facilities? That alone would bring in revenue to get that cover built.
The second cart lacking a horse is the YMCA. There is a rumor that when the YMCA does its fund-raising to build the new facility, other charities cannot also be having fund-raising drives.
Don't we need to make sure that the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Time Out Shelter and other nonprofits are able to raise money year-round every year?
Let's get the new animal shelter built. The Humane Society does a great service to the town in caring for lost and stray animals. The old facility is barely functional. If the town had to pay for the services the Humane Society provides, the cost would be greater and the service would undoubtedly be poorer.
Membership cost is also a consideration. The YMCA would probably put several other fitness venues out of business. 'm wondering if $70 a month for the YMCA versus current fitness businesses that don't cost that much will support the Y. With the higher cost of gas causing the hike in prices of utilities and food, a lot more of residents' discretionary income is going to cover living expenses. That means fitness budgets shrink.
What about bringing into Payson, a Boys and Girls Club? That would provide activities for the youth of the town, regardless of income. Bored kids get into mischief, as the Little Stinker tipping, egging and paintballing of our neighborhoods show.
Come on folks, let's get these carts hooked up to some strong horses and get our priorities taken care of before we commit shrinking dollars to these projects.
And remember, before you blame the mayor for everything, as some do, the mayor has only one vote.
Nothing gets done without the majority of the town council voting for the project. Elections are coming and we need some town councilors who will use a good portion of common horse sense in the management of Payson!